Time and money – the two things that always seem to be in short supply. These shortages only get worse around the holidays, don’t they? Just when you think you may have possibly found a way to keep all those balls in the air, you suddenly remember that there are more people on your gift giving list. I have assembled some quick and frugal mason jar gifts to help keep your budget in line.
Let’s begin with the most economical. These little salt and pepper shakers from Bernardin retail for about $1.50 apiece. The little bottle brush or sisal tree inside is part of a bag of about a dozen I found at our local craft store. The ‘snow’ in the bottom is a tablespoon or so from a massive bag I also picked up at the craft store. Ditto the jute twine. Add another loop of the jute twine on the handle for a cute ornament. The twine on the lid has been glued on with hot glue, as is the tree in the jar. Total cost: Less than $2 per gift
Now, for something slightly larger, the full size mason drinking jars. Topped with the Vintage Collection green lids, they make a cute little gift for teachers and bus drivers. A drop of hot glue on the bottom of the figurine holds it in place. To get shorter items into the jars, use a pair of needle nose pliers.
The tree, snow, and presents are from the local craft store. The ornaments are from the dollar store.
I found this nutcracker in those $1 bins at the local craft store, although he did cost a whopping $1.49.
This little brown church was not brown when I found it at the craft store. However, it was going to be too much white in the jar, so I gave it a quick paint job.
Same with the little red school house. The house and church were slightly more expensive, around $4-$5 apiece. The tiny trees were still part of that bag of mini sisal trees.
This minty hot chocolate snowman requires a trip to one of my favourites places on earth – the bulk food store. The Bernardin Elite 250 mL Mason Jars retail for about $8 for four. The bottom two jars are filled with a total of about 2 cups of peppermint white hot chocolate. The top hat I located at my local craft store and was a bit pricier than I was hoping, around $3. The googly eyes and green ‘buttons’ are from our craft box. The nose is an old marker lid, since finding anything else suitable was like looking for a needle in a hay stack. The jars stay together with four strategic dots of hot glue on the rings.
The top jar is filled with a combination of mini marshmallows and these little edible snowflakes, also from the bulk food store. You could easily skip those if you can’t find them in your area. The total cost for this mason jar gift is $12-$15.
And for the big kahuna of DIY gifts – a red and white popcorn gift basket. I saw one in a store recently that was $30. The contents would definitely be of a questionable age and it could be assembled in minutes for considerably less. Let’s work from the top down. The striped popcorn bags can be found a number of places, including the dollar stores, Target, and party supply stores. They should cost you between $2-$3. The Candy Cane Peeps are new to me this year and are available just about anywhere Christmas candy is sold. They retail for about $1. The Bernardin salt and pepper shakers have been filled with dill pickle and ketchup popcorn seasoning, found very economically at the bulk food store. Bags of popcorn kernels are found in your local grocery aisle, near the potato chips, for about $2. The bucket, in this case, is actual ceramic. The plastic ones are at dollar stores and discount retails for about $4-$5. The one pictured above is closer to $10-$15, depending on whether it is sold individually or as part of a set with smaller buckets. Total cost for this would run from $12-$15.
So there you have it. A list of mason jar gifts that can fit into almost any budget, can be made up ahead of time, and are even kid helper friendly. Do you have any more suggestions?